Fall PGA Tour Gets FedEx Status; Q-School Cards, Undecided
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It’s official. The Fall Series has gone from worst to first.
PGA Tour events that occur after the Tour Championship now will have full FedExCup points, which means they are back in the fold as fine, upstanding PGA Tour events instead of being relegated to second class status. The decision was announced today by the PGA Tour after a vote of the Policy Board. Not only do they get points, they get to start the next season.
“With the fall tournaments moving to the front end of the PGA Tour schedule, the Policy Board believes the next logical step is for these tournaments to kick off the FedExCup and begin awarding full points,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. “All of these tournaments have been very successful and certainly deserve to be part of the FedExCup competition.”
Strangely enough, that was the original plan for the FedExCup series. The fall events were originally supposed to have kicked off the points-gathering for the next year, although they would not have affected the money title for the next season.
Mysteriously, between that announcement and the initiation of the first FedExCup season and the start of the first season of competition, the fall events got dropped from the points category. Then, they got stomped on and left outside to freeze in the cold. It was an ugly few years.
Enter a few heroes—Justin Timberlake in Las Vegas and Davis Love III on Sea Island—and pretty soon, events that had been on life support had miraculous recoveries.
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There is only one fight that remains regarding the changes happening to the PGA Tour. That is determining how PGA Tour cards are awarded every year for those falling outside the top 125 on the money list.
In March, Commissioner Finchem indicated that all 50 cards would be awarded via the Nationwide Tour. At the time he said, “I think this process clearly makes the Nationwide Tour the primary path to the PGA Tour.” However, that has changed.
According to the PGA Tour, there are now three options, and the Policy Board has not decided which way to go. Originally, the plan put forth was to have all 50 cards come from Nationwide. However, many players felt that there should still be a chance—however remote it was—for the quality golfer who plays his way onto the PGA Tour by going through the Q-School process. For that reason, other options were put forth. Most have to do with a small number of the top Nationwide players receiving automatic cards, having some cards being awarded from Q-School, and having the rest awarded via the Nationwide Tour or whatever it becomes in the future.
Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials from the USGA, PGA Tour or PGA of America.
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